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-   -   How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time? (http://www.friendsandfamilyforum.com/showthread.php?t=8416)

Jessspin01 June 27th, 2018 12:14 PM

How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
I've been seeing this guy for 2.5 months. He is wonderful. Such a good heart and so handsome. I am really kind of crazy about him and I think I'm in pre-love. It doesn't take me long to fall for someone. Everyone has flaws and a past and I am in no position to judge him. Since his divorce (2 years ago) he's been having difficulty getting back to a normal life. He's been working on and off mostly manual labor temp jobs. He started smoking again.

Last night, he drove me home after we hung out and we were talking in the car. He said he feels like a failure and he keeps making mistakes. I so can relate. I often feel that way and since my divorce so much more often. He did tell me that his short term goals were to get a stable job and quit smoking. All I could think of to say was "I want to be there for it all. I'm here if you ever need anything." I'd say I do a lot for him, but I don't mind. I know he's going through something, but feels like he has no one to count on, so I wanted to be that person for him. I've been there and I know what's that like.

I don't feel like what I'm doing is wrong by helping him and being there as shoulder to cry on or be around to give hugs. I don't want to push him too much. Like I don't want to be over helpful so much that he always expects it and that's what I'll become in this relationship. Not saying that he would do that. But I don't want that to be all we're about. I don't know how to explain it. At the same time, I don't want him to resent me because I did so much for him in the early months that he feel so bad that he doesn't want to be with me anymore.... I know it's waaaay over thinking.

How can I help him without doing everything for him all the time? Especially because once I'm in my own place, I won't be able to afford to do this all the time.

Just to clarify: I'm not paying for his bills or anything. I pay pretty much whenever we go out. I've gotten cigarettes before for him and I've paid for his gas when he couldn't afford it.

KayKay June 27th, 2018 02:53 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say you "do a lot" for him. You mean emotionally? Or financially? :confused:

I don't think there's anything wrong with paying *sometimes* when you go out or pay for yourself when you go out. I do think that it might damage his self esteem if you pay *always* and for both of you when you go out. The thing to do there is just be creative about how to spend time together without spending money. I also don't think there is anything wrong with pre-emptively saying "You always drive and pick me up when we go out, can I give you some money for gas" or offer to drive. I don't think you should make it a habit to buy him gas though.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessspin01 (Post 86191)
Everyone has flaws and a past and I am in no position to judge him.

I do want to address this. No, you shouldn't judge him as a person, but you absolutely should judge him as a boyfriend. :) If you don't, you might not pick the right guy.

What about his divorce got him out of "normal life?" I don't understand that. I mean, the obvious things (moving, kid visitation if there is any, etc.) but did his divorce cause him to lose a career or something?

snafu June 28th, 2018 06:40 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
You've only been dating 2.5 months? - how many times have you paid his bills?


- my ex had/has poor money management, I "helped him" before we got married.....ended putting myself in a hole - and it continued after we were married (late payments take 7 years to fall off your credit report).

Jessspin01 July 2nd, 2018 08:47 AM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 86192)
I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say you "do a lot" for him. You mean emotionally? Or financially? :confused:

I don't think there's anything wrong with paying *sometimes* when you go out or pay for yourself when you go out. I do think that it might damage his self esteem if you pay *always* and for both of you when you go out. The thing to do there is just be creative about how to spend time together without spending money. I also don't think there is anything wrong with pre-emptively saying "You always drive and pick me up when we go out, can I give you some money for gas" or offer to drive. I don't think you should make it a habit to buy him gas though.




I do want to address this. No, you shouldn't judge him as a person, but you absolutely should judge him as a boyfriend. :) If you don't, you might not pick the right guy.

What about his divorce got him out of "normal life?" I don't understand that. I mean, the obvious things (moving, kid visitation if there is any, etc.) but did his divorce cause him to lose a career or something?

Thanks for the response as always, KayKay. You're right, we need to find other ways to do stuff besides spending. I was worried that my paying for everything would do that to him. I've got a bit of good news. He got a second job and he is going to be able to start paying for his stuff and also contributing to stuff we do.

Hi ex wife cheated on him and then pretty much drove him crazy. He's kind of still processing all of that. It's been 2 years, but he didn't handle it well in the beginning so he didn't process it. No kids, none of that. Yes, he did lose a job that he was at for 10 years because of it. So he's not on stable ground at the moment, but he's trying to be. I'm in the same boat. I'm working on myself and doing better.

Annsdil July 2nd, 2018 12:31 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
If he presents you with a problem I'd respond along the lines of "I'm sorry to hear that, what are you going to do about it?"

You can be a source of support and encourage him to find his own way without taking it upon yourself to be his rescuer.

snafu July 2nd, 2018 05:36 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
Annsdil is so spot on - her advice = you supportive & encouraging without solving this for him

PeeWeeMomOf3 July 4th, 2018 08:35 AM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Annsdil (Post 86233)
If he presents you with a problem I'd respond along the lines of "I'm sorry to hear that, what are you going to do about it?"

You can be a source of support and encourage him to find his own way without taking it upon yourself to be his rescuer.

Perfect!

Jessspin01 July 13th, 2018 10:35 AM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Annsdil (Post 86233)
If he presents you with a problem I'd respond along the lines of "I'm sorry to hear that, what are you going to do about it?"

You can be a source of support and encourage him to find his own way without taking it upon yourself to be his rescuer.

You are so right! I should just be supportive and not try to solve everything for him. I want to sort of build on to this because lately I've been really worried about him.

He's a smoker who is wanting to quit, but hasn't been able to. Now he's out of money and can't buy cigarettes and I guess is going through withdrawal. He was on medication for depression, but has decided that he would be better off without it. He was very heavily medicated and he believes it was just allowing him to coast through life without actually feeling anything or dealing with it. His dad is constantly on him about everything and tells him very often what a huge disappointment he is and how he embarrasses him. I can relate. My mother has said that to me before. I feel so bad for him and I just want him to be okay and not hurt all the time. It's like he's trying to do better with his life and he tries to be optimistic, but a lot of time he feels like a failure.

Also, I feel like he may blame himself for his marriage ending. It wasn't his fault. His ex wife cheated on him. When I told him before that he could tell me anything, he said he didn't want to burden me with all his issues and then he was worried I would end up leaving him. I said, I'm not the type of person to leave when things get rough. He said his friends used to say the same thing, but then they all left him. I know he has some trust issues.

KayKay July 13th, 2018 05:16 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessspin01 (Post 86264)
He was on medication for depression, but has decided that he would be better off without it. He was very heavily medicated and he believes it was just allowing him to coast through life without actually feeling anything or dealing with it.

I hope he did this with the consent of his doctor. I agree that sometimes depression medications (with emphasis on the SOMETIMES) are meant for short term, and the work of climbing out of the hole is hard but needs to be done. If that's what his situation was, then that's a good thing that he decided to start the work. Kudos to him! :) But still... he needs to discuss this with his doctor.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessspin01
His dad is constantly on him about everything and tells him very often what a huge disappointment he is and how he embarrasses him.

Has he given himself permission to put distance between himself and his dad until he's strong enough to face him?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessspin01
he was worried I would end up leaving him. I said, I'm not the type of person to leave when things get rough. He said his friends used to say the same thing, but then they all left him. I know he has some trust issues.

I admire that, but again... please don't put his happiness above yours. At this point, you are happy and content in the relationship so it's all working out, but please don't commit to staying in the relationship in case it stops working out at some point in the future. That would be worse for both of you. :(

Jessspin01 July 16th, 2018 02:56 PM

Re: How can I help my boyfriend without doing everything for him all the time?
 
KayKay;86265]I hope he did this with the consent of his doctor. I agree that sometimes depression medications (with emphasis on the SOMETIMES) are meant for short term, and the work of climbing out of the hole is hard but needs to be done. If that's what his situation was, then that's a good thing that he decided to start the work. Kudos to him! :) But still... he needs to discuss this with his doctor.

I don't think he had consent from his doctor, but he was off his meds years ago and he said he was fine and went back on them during his separation.


Has he given himself permission to put distance between himself and his dad until he's strong enough to face him?

I don't think he has, but he does everything for his parents. He bends over backwards for them. On Sunday when we hung out, he told me that his mom called him and said how he never does anything for her, when just the day before he spent all day doing chores around her house; pulling weeds, fixing doors, painting, etc. That's a very sore subject and I feel like he believes that it's his obligation as their son to do it all and not really complain.


I admire that, but again... please don't put his happiness above yours. At this point, you are happy and content in the relationship so it's all working out, but please don't commit to staying in the relationship in case it stops working out at some point in the future. That would be worse for both of you. :(

You're totally right about this. I am happy with him so far, but I do worry and yeah I want to be happy, but I feel like right now he's going through a rough time and I want to support him however I can. I don't feel like he has that kind of support in his life.


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